New Liberal budget continues offensive against the people

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New Liberal budget continues offensive against the people

As expected...


[url= highlights[/url]

And after last Saturday's demo of 50,000 workers, students, anti-poverty, and other groups, Québec students have already announced that they will be [url= in the streets today[/url].

With a neoliberal PQ as the "opposition", we must look to the streets, and our own strength, to fight these attacks.


Several hundred students gathered around noon at the Bonaventure Hilton in downtown Montréal, where Raymond Bachand (finance minister) was scheduled to address the Chamber of Commerce. [url='s some fresh video.[/url]



Québec solidaire co-leader and member of the National Assembly Amir Khadir [url=]interviewed about the budget[/url].

And, an innovative website, entitled "True or False?", hosted by Québec solidaire, dedicated to the proposition that free tuition from pre-K through university is a viable choice for society.

I apologize - it's all in French - but it's worth a look and a listen.





A student of literature at Collège Édouard Monpetit in Longueuil, Lupien hopes to attend the Université du Québec à Montréal in September 2012.

He said he will have to work more and longer to cover the extra costs because his parents make too much money for him to qualify for bursaries - but not enough to be able to afford to help him much.

Lupien currently has a job at the campus café and he said he will have to up his hours.

"Now I will have to work more and study less to make more money, which is difficult, because as a student of literature, you need time to read and you need time for creativity."


For Tougas, higher tuition could come at the expense of her involvement in student politics. The Université de Montréal communication and political science major said the small honorarium she gets from her coordinator's position at U de M's student association won't be enough to cover the extra costs of her degree. So she faces a choice of scaling back the time she puts in to activities that enrich her campus experience or taking out more loans, she said noting that 60 per cent of Quebec post-secondary students have $16,000 worth of debt by the end of their undergraduate degree.

"I'll have to stop being involved and get a job to pay my tuition and just simply live," said Tougas. "I won't be able to continue to study, I won't be able to get a second baccalaureate as planned and I might not be able to continue my studies to the graduate level."


Gagnon was taking a course on mortuary studies, including embalming bodies, at Collège Rosemont and plans to go on to university. She fears she will have to interrupt her studies to work for a while to fund her education.

"I'm going to have to take time off and work really hard and save," she said. "I don't know what's going to happen."


The CEGEP Saint Laurent student said she's one of the lucky ones. Because she is already out on her own and recognized by the government as financially independent, she will qualify for bursaries when she goes to university in September 2012. But she said the fee hike is still weighing on her future plans.

"(After my BA) there might be programs that are too expensive," Lachance said. "It might limit my choices (of a career)."


In his last year of a law degree at UQAM, Cloutier said he is one of the lucky few whose parents will be able to help him absorb the extra cost, so he is more concerned about the bite the tuition hike will take out of their wallets.

"I'm part of the privileged minority of 30 per cent (of students) whose parents can help," Cloutier said. "But it's a hidden tax on my parents. They have to help pay for my brother and sister too. My whole family is affected by this."

[url= Gazette[/url]

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for these updates, Unionist. Courage and solidarity to the students of Québec!

ETA: And here's the QS website you mentioned:

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Now if only these students along with the rest of the under 30 demographic will finally exercise their right to vote and wake up from the coma of apathy,the next Quebec election could be very interesting.

Especially when this will become a major issue that the ADQ and PQ have no interest in repealing.

The QS with as many or MORE seats than the ADQ?...I can't even put to words how ecstatic I'd be if that happened.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

These students vote with their feet. And it works far better than a paltry "X" that will betray you anyway.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Well...I still think it's exciting.

We've got 3 parties in the National Assembly who a carbon copies of themselves.

So if anyone was interested in changing things and it seems the students and,to a degree,unions are getting fed up with the right leaning status quo,there is only one party who can deliver change and it is the QS.

Things are never going to change if people look at voting as a 'paltry X'.

If I had no choice but to vote for either the PLQ,PQ or ADQ,then there'd be no point in voting..But there IS an alternative in Quebec,thankfully.

And if the youth vote shows up,that alternative can gain political influence.

I've been voting for them since they were the UFP...If they weren't there,I wouldn't vote and we'd all be stuck with those 3 'choices'


Catchfire wrote:

ETA: And here's the QS website you mentioned:

Couldn't figure out why you were posting it again... until I realized that I had forgotten to post it! Thanks.

Now what we really need is ways to keep the worker-student-community-group alliance alive and fighting.


By the way, did I ever post my photos from [url=]last April's demo against the budget[/url]?



"New wave of school taxing" [Jean Charest and finance minister Raymond Bachand divvying up the loot]. From [url=]Rue Frontenac[/url].



Woohoo! Just happened this morning, in Île-Perrot (close to Montréal):

[url= disrupt meeting of Young Liberals[/url]

Unionist, acting as translator wrote:

About 50 delegates of the Federation of Québec College Students burst into the meeting of the Youth Commission of the Liberal Party of Québec Sunday morning, in Île-Perrot, in Montérégie.

At about 10:30 am, the protesters forced their way into the meeting room where a hundred members of the Youth Commission were gathered. The young Liberals at first tried to push them out, but after a few altercations, decided to let them enter.

Armed with placards, the FECQ delegates shouted slogans over the annoyed look of the Youth Commission members. "We, not the Youth Commission, represent the real youth", said Gabrielle Harvey, a student at  Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue.



[url= pepper-sprayed after occupying Finance Ministry offices in Québec City[/url]

This is breaking news - will try to report back later.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

As much as this story makes me sick to my stomach,it's also music to my ears.

The youth vote needs to be woken up ASAP....And the budget and now the pepper spraying of student protesters should slap the apathy out of them.

I disagree with catchfire..Voting isn't a 'paltry X'...Clearly protests are not working.

So where can students find a political ally?

Well,it's certainly not the PLQ..nor the ADQ...and as much as they will try to score some brownie points,the answer is not with the PQ.

I may be jumping the gun but the prospect is incredibly exciting...Time to scare the shit out of the old corporatist establishment and make the QS a bonafide force to be reckoned with!


alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I just checked out what MSM report of this demonstration and they made it a point to try to paint the protesters as a gang of shit disturbers because 'many were concealing their identity'

I shouldn't be surprised by this kind of reporting and I don't know why I bother reading MSM...I guess I'm a masochist.


[url= student actions today - occupations of two Liberal MNAs' offices and one government building[/url]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think the PQ are pretty much a shoo-in at the next election now.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Student protesters attacked with 'stun grenades'


MONTREAL — What started as a peaceful downtown protest by more than 2,000 Quebec students against higher tuition fees turned ugly Thursday just as the demonstration started winding down.

Montreal riot police had to move in and use stun grenades and pepper spray to disperse a rowdy group of students after scuffling with them outside a government building.

Five people were arrested on a variety of charges ranging from assaulting or threatening police officers and mischief.

Several vehicles were damaged.

The altercations near the Loto-Quebec building came after a three-hour protest by students which snaked through the downtown streets, tying up traffic along the way.

One university student who would only identify himself as "Ben" says it didn't seem to him that the protesters provoked the police.

"They (police) began marching forward and then they started throwing flash-bang grenades over the crowd and a couple of people were arrested," he said.

"It seemed like they just wanted to disperse the crowd but I think it was a little more force than was necessary."

Many of the protesters began dispersing after the noisy march reached Quebec Premier Jean Charest's downtown office.

Police used pepper spray to keep several protesters in check and five people were arrested throughout the protest.

Montreal police spokeswoman Anie Lemieux said they face charges of assault, mischief and uttering threats.

Lemieux said a female employee in the Loto-Quebec building suffered a fractured arm during a scuffle with demonstrators who entered the building.

She also said several "deluxe" vehicles were damaged and two police cars were sprayed with grafitti and dented.

The demonstration coincided with a one-day strike by thousands of junior-college and university students.

Students in the province have promised to fight the government's proposal to raise university tuition fees by $325 a year for five years, beginning in 2012.

The planned increases would bring tuition for Quebec students to $3,793 in 2016-17, up from the current $2,168.

That would still leave the province 30 per cent below the 2010 Canadian average.

Students are worried the higher tuition fees will further complicate efforts to fund their education.

"Our demands today are really simple," said spokesman Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.

"We want the Charest government to back off from its intention to raise tuition fees.

"We are totally against this drastic measure that is really an historical attack to the right to education and to the accessibility of post-secondary education.

"Today in Quebec we have one of the lowest tuition fees in Canada, and I think we should be proud of this, not ashamed of this."

Nick, a 60-year-old teacher who watched the protest before police moved in, called the Quebec tuition fee increases a compromise and described them as "pretty reasonable."

"But obviously it's going to cause some students at the bottom end of the scale to find it difficult to make the necessary funding," he added.

"If we were really to bring it (fees) up to the level that other provinces charge, it would probably cause more than just a riot."

Students say that they will next protest at a Quebec Liberal Party meeting on Sunday in Boucherville.

They say that a student strike in either the Spring or Autumn remains a possibility.

With files from Canadian Press

I like how CTV always finds a way to blame the protesters and defend the police by painting those who participate in protests as trouble makers and thugs and the police as peace keepers and heroes.

Let's be clear...It's ALWAYS the other way around.


Boom Boom wrote:

I think the PQ are pretty much a shoo-in at the next election now.

We assumed that the last two elections. Never underestimate the right-wing: they can ignore everything a party does as along as said party is whining against the "go-gauche" and the "separatists".


[url=]This video[/url] is causing a stir in Montréal today. It shows a riot cop yesterday pushing a woman with his shield - she falls to the ground, while cops stand around without coming to her aid. She was apparently shopping, not a participant in the demonstration.


alan smithee alan smithee's picture


I wonder what it will take before people realize that the police are becoming (have become) a group of above the law hired thugs.

In a perfect world, a political party would publicly condemn this and make them accountable and subject to the same laws as everyone else (hello,QS)

And in a perfect world,people would show up in droves to vote for that party.


[url= 31 statement of Québec solidaire on the fee hikes[/url]

This was issued before the demonstration. It sets out QS's commitment to public financing of education and how to secure the funding by increased taxes on the wealthy, on capital, and reduction of subsidies to businesses.




[url= students demonstrate in Boucherville outside provincial Liberal party conference[/url]

About 200 students gathered in Boucherville Sunday outside a Quebec Liberal Party meeting to protest tuition hikes announced in the provincial budget.

"It is a wrong decision; it is an ill-advised decision. Students live on $13,000, they do not have the money to go through with a new hike in tuition fees," said Louis-Philippe Savoie, president of the Quebec Federation of University Students at the protest, staged at a hotel south of Montreal where the Liberals held a day-long symposium. [...]

Heavy police presence ensured students remained behind a large barrier, while inside the hotel, security was tight, preventing any disruption from protesters.

A student demonstration in Montreal Thursday ended as riot police used stun grenades to break up the 2,000-strong crowd.

Five people were arrested.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

"A student demonstration in Montreal Thursday ended as riot police used stun grenades to break up the 2,000-strong crowd."


Jesus H. Christ! Surprised


Boom Boom, this was the demo I reported on upthread:

I still haven't found as good an account in English as the Rue Frontenac story linked there.



Thousands of students marched through downtown Montréal this afternoon to protest against Charest's plan to hike tuition fees. They massed in front of Charest's Montréal office, not far from the McGill University entrance on Sherbrooke. Shortly after, the police, under the pretext of some minor incidents, declared the march "over" and brought in the riot squad to attack and disperse the students. There were a number of arrests and injuries, and an "irritant gas" was used (it was likely pepper spray, but hard to say so far). There was also an office occupation and other events - the story is still being pieced together.

The best account I've seen so far is in [url= Frontenac[/url], the daily web news outlet of the (formerly) locked-out Journal reporters. Sorry, can't find any decent reports in English.

The cops are becoming far more aggressive with such protests. Before, they reserved their venom for the anti-police-brutality annual demo and the like. At last year's April 1st demo of about 25,000 against the previous budget, I couldn't see a cop anywhere. I don't know what the new marching orders are.

ETA: Turns out the "irritant gas" was actually stun grenades.


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I don't get why this anti-democratic repression is tolerated, especially here in Quebec. I hope human rights lawyers are watching and will take the bastards to court.